FRANCES L. JANSSEN, 82, of South Bend, formerly of Remington, died Thursday, Novembr 27, 2008, at St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Lafayette.
Born January 25, 1926, in Remington to the late Fred B. and Anna Petersen Janssen, she was a 1943 graduate of Gilboa High School. Miss Janssen played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League from 1948 to 1952. She also was a center for the South Bend Rockettes basketball team from 1954 to 1960.
She received an associate degree in business from South Bend IUPUI and attended International Business College of Fort Wayne.
She was an insurance representative for Laven Insurance Co. in South Bend for many years and was a member of Northern Indiana History Center in South Bend.
Janssen played five seasons in the AAGPBL, and in those five seasons she played for almost every team: South Bend Blue Sox, Grand Rapid Chicks (1948), Chicago Colleens, Springfield Sallies (1949), Fort Wayne Daisies, Kalamazoo Lassies, Peoria Redwings (1950), Fort Wayne Daisies, Peoria Redwings, Battle Creek Belles, Kalamazoo Lassies (1951) and the Battle Creek Belles (1952). She was also the manager of the Belles in 1951 and ’52.
The 1955 South Bend Rockets were a team in the Woman’s Basketball Association, and Janssen was a 5-foot-11-inch center who led the team to a national championship.
Survivors include four sisters, Betty Longest (husband: Ferris) of Fort Wayne, Tinie Dunbar (husband: Joe) of Lafayette, Wilma Lewellyn (husband: Jack) of New Richmond and Anna Boettcher (husband: Gene) of Tucson.
She was preceded in death by a brother, Paul (Martha) Janssen.
Funeral services were Tuesday, December 2, 2008, at Stitz Funeral Home, Remington. Anna Ubbinga Boettcher will officiated. Interment Mount Gilboa Cemetery.
Memorials to: All American Girls Professional Baseball League, c/o Shirley Burkovich, 67-430 Ovante Rd., Cathedral City, CA 92234-8402.
Obituary provided by Isabel Alvarez.
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